PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Baseball fans who followed the 2015 MLB trade deadline with a close eye were treated to a surplus of trades, false reports, endless hug watches, and, above all, a couple weeks of nail-biting, cinema-like suspense.
For some fans, the afternoon of July 31 provided means to celebrate. For others, the only appropriate thing to do come 4 p.m. was to pour a drink, then sink their heads into their palms.
Here are some winning and losing teams of the trade deadline.
Royals (61-40, 1st in AL Central)
General manager Dayton Moore went on a splurge, a shopping spree with Daddy’s credit card if you will, in the past couple days. He snagged Reds ace and bona fide work horse Johnny Cueto from the NL Central before adding a two-time All-Star in super utility man Ben Zobrist, another one of the hottest names on the trading block, from the A’s.
Astros (58-45, 1st in AL West)
The Astros have been a consistent basement-dweller since the days of Jeff Bagwell. The acquisition of 29-year-old Carlos Gomez, who is signed through 2016, should pin Houston to the top half of their division in the near future. The Astros also re-structured their starting rotation, as coming-of-age right-hander Mike Fiers joins the team from Milwaukee, and AL ERA leader Scott Kazmir (2.10 ERA), traded from Oakland, assumes the responsibility of many playoff innings.
Tigers (50-52, 3rd in AL Central)
The Tigers announced the other day that they would be willing to trade just about anyone on their team if the club on the other side met their return price in the deal. They shipped lefty David Price to the Blue Jays and Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets, and, in return, they received four pitching prospects who could be major-league ready starting next year, and the moves freed up enough dollars to reel in a top-notch free agent or two this winter if they so choose.
Cardinals (65-37, 1st in NL Central)
The steamrolling Cards added pieces that didn’t necessarily make them a better team. They traded for Jonathan Broxton, the one-time stud who hit the MLB scene at 21 but has owned a 5.90 ERA this season, and they especially over-paid for light-hitting Brandon Moss as a fill-in for injured Matt Holliday.
Padres (49-53, 4th in NL West)
We could be witnessing the development of the next Ruben Amaro, Jr. in San Diego general manager A.J. Preller. After re-loading in the free agent market this past off-season, the first-year general manager’s squad sits 7.5 games back from the second national league wild card spot with a payroll of $126,107,229. Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel and others remained put this week, while the Friars made just one minor trade involving a 4-A guy.
Giants (56-45, 2nd in NL West)
Seeking a legitimate arm, the Giants were able to pull off middle-of-the-rotation starter Mike Leake via trade, but their 27th ranked farm system probably limited them to just that.